Eddie Howe has revealed there is a newly-formed leadership group at Newcastle United after Callum Wilson’s outing as captain.
The 43-year-old turned to Wilson against Norwich City in Jamaal Lascelles’ absence, with the central defender forced to serve a one-match ban.
Supporters were delighted to see Wilson wear the armband, although it did come as a surprise with Jonjo Shelvey often deputising, at least under the previous head coach.
Indeed, when asked about Wilson’s captaincy by NewcastleWorld, Howe alluded to a new leadership group, which he felt came to the front during the 1-1 draw with Norwich after playing 81 minutes with 10 men following Ciaran Clark’s red card.
Howe said: “We’ve created a leadership group within the squad, that is something we have really worked hard on since we’ve arrived in terms of building leaders within the team and allowing those leaders to really influence the group.
“I won’t go into too much detail behind it but Callum (Wilson) is obviously one of those guys that the players really respect and see as one of the leaders of the team.
“It was a pleasure to give him the armband and I thought he led the team really, really well. Sometimes, it’s difficult when you’re at the focal point of the team but I felt his messages were getting back through the team.
“But also when you add Fede (Fernandez) and Jonjo (Shelvey) through the spine of the team on Tuesday, we had some really good talkers and I think they definitely helped us in that difficult moment to get the result we did.”
Lascelles is back in contention for the visit of Burnley on Saturday, as is Matt Ritchie, who also missed the last game through suspension.
Jamaal Lascelles set for return
On welcoming Lascelles back, Howe said: “Hugely important player Jamaal because he adds physicality and pace in our backline and they’re qualities that we need.
“He’s captain of the team, a very strong personality in the dressing room. I really like Jamaal, I think there’s a lot more to come from him.
“He can take his game to new heights and I’m really excited about the possibility of working with him longer-term.”
Eddie Howe on Federico Fernandez
“I thought he was outstanding,” Howe said about Fernandez’s display against the Canaries.
“Model professional. Prepared well. Trained well. Was very for his moment when it came due to the fact he’s done everything right between his last game to now.
“I really love him as a person. He’s going to be invaluable. His leadership qualities are there for everyone to see, so really pleased for Fede.”